Virtually all the information the public knows about Senator Harry Reid’s hospital treatment on the day he experienced serious injuries to both of his eyes, broke several ribs, and bruised the right side of his face, comes directly from only one source: the senator’s office.
While, as previously reported, a Breitbart News investigation has uncovered facts that appear to discredit Reid’s version of how and where the accident took place, our investigation has discovered no facts that discredit Reid’s version of how he was treated on January 1 and 2 for his injuries.
There is, however, very little independent corroboration for the post-injury narrative set forth by Reid.
Questions surrounding how Senator Reid was injured injuries received higher visibility in the wake of the indictment Wednesday of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on charges of corruption related, in part, to “whether Menendez improperly advocated for the business interests of Dr. Salomon Melgen, including by intervening on the doctor’s behalf in a medical billing dispute.”
As Breitbart News reported previously, Senator Reid arranged for and participated in an August 2012 meeting with Menendez and Secretary of HHS meeting during which Menendez advocated on behalf of his friend and donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was embroiled in an adjudicatory process in which HHS successfully asserted he had overbilled Medicare by $8.9 million. Two months before Reid arranged this meeting, the Senate Majority PAC, a Super PAC closely linked to Reid, received a $300,000 contribution from Melgen that would grow to $700,000 by the end of 2012.
Reid and his office assert eight specific factual claims in their version of the story of how he was injured and the treatment he received subsequent to that injury:
ONE–The violent accident took place on Thursday, January 1 in his Henderson, Nevada home.
“I was doing exercises that I’ve been doing for many years with those large rubber bands and, uh, one of them broke and spun me around and I crashed into these cabinets and injured my eye,” Reid said.
A statement released by Reid’s office on January 2 claimed the “injuries sustained in an accident he suffered while exercising at home in Henderson.”
Breitbart has uncovered no evidence that the incident took place somewhere other than in his Henderson, Nevada home.
TWO—The violent accident took place “in his bathroom” in his Henderson Nevada, home.
Reid himself has not specifically stated where in the house the accident took place, but “[s]ources familiar with the incident said Reid was exercising in his bathroom, with the exercise band attached to the shower door,” Politico reported on January 22. (emphasis added)
Breitbart has uncovered compelling evidence that discredits the assertion that the incident took place in Senator Reid’s bathroom in his Henderson, Nevada house.
On January 23, the Las Vegas Review Journal “independently confirmed” the assertion that the injuries occurred in his bathroom, but it is almost certain that this confirmation came from a source approved of by Senator Reid, either a staffer or a family member. The paper also reported “Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said there was ‘nothing to add or comment’ on the [January 22] Politico story.”
The official Harry Reid line, then, is that the accident took place in his bathroom, but this claim seems disproven by the evidence.
THREE-He was transported to St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson shortly after the incident by his Capitol Police security detail on January 1.
“Senator Reid was first brought to St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson by his security detail.”
No independent source corroborates this claim. Breitbart News contacted the Capitol Police by phone and email several times, but did not receive a response.
FOUR–He was at Rose Dominican Hospital for some period of time on January 1 and then transferred to another hospital on January 1.
“He was then transferred [from St. Rose Dominican] to UMC [on Jan 1] for further testing . . .”
St. Rose Dominican Hospital has confirmed to Breitbart News that Senator Reid was treated and released, but refused to provide the date on which this occurred, or the times of day he was admitted and released on that unknown date.
A spokesperson for St. Rose Dominican Hospital confirmed to Breitbart News that Reid was treated and released, but refused to confirm the date of the treatment or his arrival and departure times on that day.
“I can confirm that he [Senator Reid] was treated and released. Dignity Health policy follows that of the American Hospital Association guidelines on HIPAA and the media, so that is all I can disclose,” Katie Ryan, a spokesperson for Dignity Health, which owns St. Rose Dominican, emailed Breitbart News on Tuesday.
When pressed to provide time and date of arrival and release, Ms. Ryan emailed Breitbart News:
No, I cannot. This is referenced from their [the AHA guidelines on HIPAA and media] FAQ page:
Question: If the hospital can say that someone has been “treated and released” without getting permission, may the hospital disclose when the patient was released or to where the patient was released?
No. Although a hospital may disclose that a patient was treated and released as information regarding the patient’s location (or lack thereof) in the hospital, it may not release information regarding the date of release or where the patient went upon release without patient authorization.
Breitbart News has confirmed with a spokesperson the American Hospital Association that Ryan properly cited current AHA HIPAA Guidelines.
FIVE-He was transferred to University Medical Center in Las Vegas on January 1.
“He was then transferred to UMC [on Jan 1] for further testing . . .”
University Medical Center has refused to confirm that Senator Reid was treated and released, telling Breitbart News that information about Senator Reid as a patient “can not be located in our computer system.”
“I have researched the patient in question [Harry Reid] with the On Duty Administrator and this patient can not be located in our computer system. Perhaps Senator Reid’s office can confirm your questions,” Sylvia Vazquez, Community & Clinical Relations Manager for University Medical Center told Breitbart News on Monday.
“Some of the information you included below [in the 2003 AHA HIPPA GUIDELINES], does not apply to patients that have requested to be NFP [Not for Publication]. Due to the misunderstanding regarding our hospital policy, I have included the below information in hopes this makes more sense,” Erika Nansen, a spokesperson for UMC tells Breitbart News.
Nansen provided Breitbart News with the UMC’s GENERAL GUIDE FOR RELEASE OF PATIENT RELATED INFORMATION, which states in part, “in response to media inquiries about patient admission and conditions, the following guidelines will be followed. . .The following classifications of patients are automatically designated not-for-publication admissions.”
“In these cases,” the GUIDE continues, “the hospital spokesperson will state, ‘I do not show the patient’s name in the system.’: 1. Psychiatric patients. 2. Patients who have received or are receiving therapy for drug/alcohol abuse. 3. Patients who have requested restrictions on disclosing their PHI and have been flagged as “Not-For-Publication” (NFP). 4. Any public figure that has not had ample time to determine if he/she wishes to be flagged as NFP.”
Presumably, Senator Reid has told UMC he wishes to be classified NFP.
SIX–He was admitted overnight to UMC on January 1.
“[W]here he was admitted overnight as a precaution.”
As pointed out in number 5 above, UMC does not independently corroborate this, presumably because Senator Reid has told them he wishes to be classified NFP.
SEVEN–He was released from UMC at 11:30 am Friday, January 2.
Here’s how the Las Vegas Review Journal reported the story on January 2:
Reid, 75, was taken to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, in Henderson by U.S. Capitol Police security officers he is assigned as a Senate leader and who post guard around the clock. He was then transferred to University Medical Center, where he was admitted overnight, aides said. [emphasis added]
The Nevada Democrat was discharged from UMC about 11:30 a.m. Friday [January 2] and headed home, spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a statement she read outside the hospital.
But no reporter saw Senator Reid enter or leave the hospital and spokespersons for UMC could not provide Breitbart News with the time of Senator Reid’s admittance. Indeed, they specifically stated they had no record at all of Senator Reid in their computer system.
“Reid left through a side exit with his Capitol Police escort, and was not viewed by reporters,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reported on January 2.
EIGHT–Dr. Darrick Neibaur, an ophthalmologist, was one of the doctors who treated him.
REID CLAIM: On January 9, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported “Reid said he was examined by Henderson ophthalmologist Dr. Darrick Neibaur, ‘and I have a series of physicians back here who are doing everything they can to resolve the problem I have with my right eye, but it is not going to be resolved tomorrow.’”
Senator Reid did not offer a specific indication of the date on which Dr. Neibaur began treating him.
Dr. Neibaur did not return calls from Breitbart News.
Time for Senator Reid to Fully Disclose All the Details Surrounding His Serious Injuries
Senator Reid is actively fighting the disclosure of any information to the public of details related to his accident from any source that is not controlled by his office.
The first public report of the incident came at 7:23 am Mountain time on January 2, in a story that ran in the Las Vegas Journal Review.
No one outside of Senator Reid, his staff, and his family, yet knows the truth about what happened in the hours that preceded that early morning report on January 2.
As Breitbart News has conclusively demonstrated, one of the most important claims of fact asserted by Senator Reid—that the incident took place in his bathroom in his Henderson, Nevada home—is simply not credible.
Lacking independent corroboration of much of the rest of the story, many Americans are wondering what other claims of fact has Senator Reid made about his injuries that will not stand the test of credible investigation.
Given Senator Reid’s high public office, it is a matter of public interest that Senator Reid disclose important additional facts, and authorize all relevant hospital and public authorities do the same.
Those organizations should be permitted to release every detail related to the incident, including, but not limited to the time of day and date the incident occurred, the time of day and date of his admittance to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, the time and day and date of his admittance to UMC, confirmation of times of day and the date by the Capitol Police that these events took place, and public statements from his doctors as to the timing of their initial treatment of Senator Reid.
Breitbart News has posed all these questions to Senator Reid’s office and received no response.
Sen. Reid recently admitted he lied in his 2012 claim that Mitt Romney paid no federal income taxes for ten years, and said he has no regrets about doing so. If Senator Reid can ask Mitt Romney to prove he paid federal income taxes over ten years, it is more than fair for Breitbart News to ask Senator Reid to prove that the factual claims he has made about the cause of his injuries and about his initial treatment for them are true.